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Hacker Bypasses Lock Screen on Samsung Smartphone in Under 3 Minutes

by Todd Haselton | March 20, 2013March 20, 2013 9:00 am PDT

Earlier this month we reported on a security flaw that allows hackers to bypass the lock screen on the Galaxy S III. Now, a new bug suggests that a similar approach is possible for all Samsung smartphones running the Android Jelly Bean operating system. In the three-minute video above, you can see an example provided by Terrence Eden, who shows all of the steps.

There are several steps involved. If you tap emergency call then try to dial an invalid emergency number, such as 0, you’ll get an error message. If you press the back button, suddenly the last app running pops up before the phone reverts to the lock screen page again. Eden then taps emergency call yet again and clicks an in-case-of-emergency contact and holds down the home button. Suddenly the home screen flashes briefly before, again, returning the device to the lock screen.

Eden noticed that the quick flash is “just enough time to launch an app.” By repeating the steps several times and eventually launching Google Play, he’s able to access voice search and say “no lock” which eventually finds an application that disables the lock screen altogether. “It’s a very tricky procedure,” Eden admits, before finally unlocking the phone entirely.

Sure is tricky, but anyone who finds a lost phone or steals one will likely search for ways to get access. Hopefully Samsung provides a fix soon, especially since the whole procedure took Eden just under 3 minutes.

AndroidCentral

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...

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